OCD Racing Thoughts: What They Are and How to Stop Them?

OCD Racing Thoughts

Do you have a lot of racing thoughts? If so, you’re not alone. OCD racing thoughts are a common symptom of OCD. In this blog post, we will discuss what racing thoughts are, and how to deal with them. We will also provide some helpful tips for managing your OCD symptoms.

What Are OCD Racing Thoughts?

OCD racing thoughts are “intrusive, unwanted and repetitive intrusive thoughts of a worrying nature that cause significant anxiety.” These thoughts can be about anything from your past, present, or future. They often center on fear and worry, causing you to feel overwhelmed and anxious. Racing thoughts are linked to OCD because they typically focus on obsessive-compulsive behaviors such as counting, checking, organizing, or cleaning.

Examples Of Racing Thoughts OCD

examples of OCD Racing Thoughts

There are many different types of racing thoughts that you may experience with OCD. Some examples include:

  • Fear of making a mistake or doing something wrong.
  • Intrusive thoughts about germs, dirt, and contamination.
  • Obsessive worries about the future or what might happen.
  • Anxiety about people judging you or making a fool out of yourself.
  • The compulsive need to count, check, organize, or clean things. It can be helpful to remind yourself of this when your racing thoughts start to take over.

What Causes The OCD Racing Thoughts?

There is not any single cause of OCD racing thoughts, but they are commonly linked with certain aspects of the disorder. People with OCD may have difficulty controlling their obsessive and compulsive behaviors, which can lead to an increase in intrusive thoughts. Additionally, stress and anxiety can trigger racing thoughts, so it’s important to manage these emotions as best you can.

Other conditions just as Post-traumatic stress disorder and (ADHD) attention deficit hyperactivity disorder can also cause racing thoughts. Bipolar disorder and depression are other mental disorder that causes racing thoughts and OCD.

Specific drugs and medications can also increase the intensity of racing thoughts. People who are taking psychotropic drugs, such as anti-depressants or anti-anxiety medications, may experience an increase in their racing thoughts. Pain disorder and agitated depression can also be linked to racing thoughts in some people.

How Do I Stop Racing Thoughts OCD?

Stop Racing Thoughts OCD

Now, let’s address the main question: How to stop racing thoughts OCD? Here are some helpful tips:

Acknowledge Your Thoughts and Let Them Go

The first step to managing your racing thoughts is to acknowledge them, but let them go. This means that you must resist the urge to get caught up in the thought spiral of obsessive-compulsive behaviors. Focus on the present moment and acknowledge that the thoughts are there, but let them pass.

Instantly Start Deep Breathing

Whenever you feel like your thoughts are beginning to take over, immediately start deep breathing. This will help you relax and regain control of your thoughts and emotions. It is also a good way to slow down your racing thoughts. This is important to practice deep breathing regularly so that you are prepared when the racing thoughts start. The most effective way to do this is to practice daily mindfulness meditation.

Keep A Journal

Writing down your thoughts can help you process them better and provide perspective on the situation. Keeping an OCD diary or journal is a great tool for managing racing thoughts. You can record your intrusive thoughts, as well as any coping strategies that have worked for you in the past. This can help you identify triggers and find effective ways to manage your symptoms.

Mindfulness Meditation

Mindfulness Meditation

Mindfulness meditation is another helpful tool for managing racing thoughts related to OCD. This practice involves focusing on your breath and observing your thoughts without judgment or attachment. Mindfulness meditation can help you gain control over your racing thoughts by teaching you how to be more aware of them, yet not react to them.

Relaxation techniques, such as progressive muscle relaxation and guided imagery, are also effective tools for dealing with OCD-related racing thoughts. These practices can help you relax your body and mind, which can reduce the intensity of intrusive thoughts. Additionally, they can help you become more aware of when these thoughts are happening and better manage them in the future.

Night Sleep Routine

Establishing a consistent sleep routine can also help you manage racing thoughts. Getting enough quality sleep is essential for managing OCD symptoms. Make sure to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day and limit your screen time before bed. This will ensure that you have adequate energy throughout the day and can better manage intrusive thoughts when they arise.

Grounding Exercises

Grounding exercises can also be beneficial for managing racing thoughts due to OCD. These exercises help you reconnect with the present moment by focusing on your body and environment. Examples of grounding exercises include deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, tactile stimulation (such as rubbing a smooth stone or using a stress ball), and observing your surroundings. These activities can help you manage intrusive thoughts at the moment and stay focused on the present.

Indulge In Good Distractions

Engaging in activities that bring you joy can help distract your mind from intrusive thoughts. Take time to do things that you love and that make you happy. This could include reading a book, listening to music, playing an instrument, or going for a walk. Doing something enjoyable can help refocus your attention away from intrusive thoughts and provide an emotional boost.

Seek Professional Help For Therapy

If you find that the above strategies are not helping to manage your racing thoughts, it may be beneficial to seek professional help. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is an effective treatment for OCD that can help you learn how to better control and cope with intrusive thoughts. A therapist can also provide support and guidance as you work through your issues.

Having a reliable network of family and friends to talk to can also offer comfort during difficult times. Reach out for support when needed and never be afraid or ashamed to ask for help. Having a strong support system in place is essential for managing OCD symptoms, including racing thoughts.


Finally, medication can be a helpful addition to therapy and other coping strategies when dealing with racing thoughts. Certain medications, such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and antipsychotics, are commonly used to treat OCD symptoms and relieve anxiety. Talk to your doctor or mental health provider about which treatment options would be best for you.

Is It Normal To Have Racing Thoughts All The Time?

Racing Thoughts All The Time

It is normal to have racing thoughts from time to time. However, if your racing thoughts are causing significant distress or impacting your daily life, it is important to seek professional help. OCD can be effectively managed with the right treatment plan and support system in place. Remember that you don’t have to face this issue alone; reach out for help when needed. With the right coping strategies and support system, it is possible to manage racing thoughts related to OCD and live a full and meaningful life.


Racing thoughts related to OCD can be overwhelming and disruptive. Fortunately, there are a variety of effective strategies that you can use to manage them. Mindfulness meditation, relaxation techniques, good sleep habits, grounding exercises, indulging in enjoyable activities, seeking professional help for therapy, and medication may all be beneficial in managing racing thoughts. Ultimately, finding the right combination of treatments that work for you will be key to minimizing intrusive thoughts and gaining control over your symptoms.

For more information and guidance, please contact MantraCare. OCD is a mental health disorder characterized by obsessions and compulsions. If you have any queries regarding Online OCD Counseling experienced therapists at MantraCare can help: Book a trial OCD therapy session

Try MantraCare Wellness Program free

"*" indicates required fields

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.